Films about the blind make as much sense as musicals about silent movie stars. But Sunset Boulevard is a hit, and Madeline Stowe (below, with Aidan Quinn) stars in the demented Blink as a blind woman who 'sees' a serial killer at work - eyeless in gaga. Stowe's sight has been surgically restored but it keeps flashing back. Unfortunately, it doesn't flash back to Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark or Mia Farrow in Blind Terror so Stowe can study how blind heroines should behave when confronted with mass murderers - pluckily, with lots of crashing into walls until they remember they have 'heightened senses' and can turn the tables. (Hepburn smashes all the lights in her flat, forcing the psychopathic Alan Arkin to function on her terms. . .only she forgets about the light in the fridge).
'Heightened senses' are just part of the formula; a cliche and a lie. In the undervalued Jennifer 8, Uma Thurman lays the truth on detective Andy Garcia; no, she can't tell his age from his voice, that's a movie thing, understand? Jennifer 8 bends the rules (the best scene has Thurman casually shoved about at a party until she cries) but skips the big question: why do we find the sight of a blind woman being menaced a thrill? Because empathy is instantly engaged? Or because of the implicit warning: women should be careful not to see too much, even if they're blind. Is that the reason the killer goes straight for his female victims' peepers in Eyes of Laura Mars - so women will know to keep both their eyes and mouths shut?